The Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges, through its Ohio Scholars Program, awarded 1,002 scholarships statewide to students enrolled in its 34 member colleges for the 2012-13 academic year.
The total value of the scholarships is more than $1.7 million.
The Ohio Scholars Program is funded by 172 corporations and foundations whose contributions provide scholarships to academically qualified students who otherwise might find the cost of higher education prohibitive.
“Scholarships are the single most important factor in assisting low- to moderate-income students to not only advance to college but also to stay in college and complete their undergraduate degrees. The importance of scholarships, which significantly help to reduce student-loan debt, cannot be overstated. We are grateful to our donors — corporations, foundations and individuals — who have stepped forward to fund scholarships for Ohio’s students and to provide outstanding young people with the opportunity to reach their academic goals,” said Gordon R. Brollier, OFIC president.
Forty-two students from the Mahoning Valley area are attending college this year with financial assistance received through OFIC.
Teresa Rufo of Warren is a sophomore at Walsh University majoring in Early Childhood Intervention, which will prepare her to work with young children with special needs. Rufo is the recipient of a scholarship from AVI Food Systems Inc. through OFIC.
She wrote to her donor, “Walsh has a tremendous education program. I knew a private school would be more expensive, but I was determined that with hard work and dedication I could find ways to help cover expenses and put less of a financial burden on my mom. She is a single mother and works very hard to send both me and my sister to college. Your generosity is allowing me to obtain my education a little more easily.”
All scholarship recipients are selected based on recommendations from their colleges and meet criteria established by the donors. These criteria may include area of study, academic standing, geographic region or ethnicity.
OFIC is the primary corporate and foundation solicitation organization for 34 independent Ohio colleges and universities and operates one of the largest, most comprehensive and diverse scholarship management services in the state. OFIC member colleges collectively enroll nearly 100,000 students and award one-third of all bachelor’s degrees in the state.